Aikido is a specific sub class of JuJutsu
Aikido in it's self defense form all to often is not recognizable, usually categorized as some bastardized version of Judo/Jujutsu. Because so many Aikidoka practice just demonstrations and many may or may not reach the higher level dans, the assumption is that Aikido in demonstrations is Aikido in self defense. This is most certainly far from the truth. As my sensei has often stated, "there is Aikido to show in it's full form, which is what you see in a demonstration and there is Aikido that is adaptive, used for self defense." The self defense Aikido, is ridiculed, ostracized for not appearing as it does in it's full form (demonstration). A a result, you here Aikidoka making statements, this is Aikido and that's not Aikido. What you're doing is Judo, or what you are doing is Jujutsu. The fact of the matter is, self defense warrants an organic approach with limited boundaries to defend. For those who feel that there Aikido is not limited to just demonstrations, I would like to here what steps we can take to remove this misconception. Can Aikido in a self defense scenario (maybe the perception is jujutsu) be accepted as Aikido if the Aiki concepts hold true?
Specializing in Aiki.
A show\demo is a show\demo and a S.D. implementation is not a show. Thus, each is more likely to look differently then the other way around.
The purpose of both Tori and Uke is to make it LOOK GOOD. Often only Kata is shown in the demonstration, thus the demonstration show is choreographed, limiting the likely responses and making Tori life easier - he knows what is expected. Uke also knows what to expect and what throw to be ready for. Some Uke wish to make their fall impressible, so they prepare for it in advance…
In a S.D. situation, one wishes to survive (if you have other wishes -- it is not S.D. rather some other type of fighting). You do not have a partner\friend Uke, rather an assailant. He is not likely to know Aikido nor Ukemi, and his responses are often much more difficult to discern compared to your fellow friends whom you know for years in the dojo.
If one does not practice any form of free-play (Randori or Shihai) he might be expecting a bitter surprise. He will find it much more difficult to identify the attack and respond correctly for it (same happens to veterans who only train with their friends and not with noobs). If one never faced resistance -- he is expecting another surprise, if he reaches such a state of starting a technique his assailant is likely to resist. And if the first round goes without determination, one should be ready for round 2 -- something free-play \ Randori prepares us for.
Despite all the above, I disagree with the quote: "there is Aikido to show in it's full form, which is what you see in a demonstration and there is Aikido that is adaptive, used for self defense."
The Aikido we learn can be used for fighting in a S.D. situation. That would be the full form of Aikido as you know it
. It is not some twisted \partial thing. It should be the core.